THE BARGAIN BUY: Joy Division; Unknown Pleasures

 |   |  1 min read

Joy Division: New Dawn Fades
THE BARGAIN BUY: Joy Division; Unknown Pleasures

Joy Division's debut album, for the sound of Martin Hannett's production alone, changed the way people thought about music in the post-punk era. Here was glacially smooth and dark music with theatrical intent and a poetic sensibility.

It sounded astonishingly gloomy (lines like "where will it end" and "she's lost control again" leap out at you) but Hannett's spacious production also allowed massive bass lines and mechanistic drumming to create a sonic landscape in which Ian Curtis' vocals sound like they have been beamed in from a distance, both physical and emotional.

A track like Candidate for example would be almost a disjointed art statement if Curtis' vocals were removed.

But it is his delivery and poetry which is the compelling feature: Curtis sings as a man feeling removed from or uncomfortable in the world, he drew on experiences in his job as a social worker confronting the grim misery of his clients (She's Lost Control) but became a kind of Mancunian Sylvia Plath where there are images of white sheets and silent cars beside the road, blood on fingers and "I've seen the nights filled with blood sports and pain".

Curtis is there in every lyric: the observer or participant.

Unknown Pleasures was never an easy listen and some only heard its dark and gloomy qualities, not it's poetry. When people joked that Leonard Cohen was a one-man Joy Division, they didn't realise quite how that was more true than just a superficial reading.JB_HZ_CHEAP_long

One of the great albums of rock era which should be in any collection, it is now less than $10 from JB H-Fi stores (here).

And that is a Bargain Buy

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   The Bargain Buy articles index

THE BARGAIN BUY: Fargo, The Complete First Season (DVD)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Fargo, The Complete First Season (DVD)

Just as the television series Fargo -- based on the Coen brothers much acclaimed mid-Nineties film of the same name -- started screening in New Zealand, a well placed television critic went into... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Marianne Faithfull; Faithfull, A Collection of Her Best Recordings

THE BARGAIN BUY: Marianne Faithfull; Faithfull, A Collection of Her Best Recordings

Elsewhere will concede immediately that we have always been mostly unpersuaded by Marianne Faithfull's much acclaimed genius. Her self-belief is admirable but often the evidence on many albums has... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

FROM EARTH'S END; THE BEST OF NEW ZEALAND COMICS by ADRIAN KINNAIRD

FROM EARTH'S END; THE BEST OF NEW ZEALAND COMICS by ADRIAN KINNAIRD

There's the old observation that for most people history began with the first thing they remember, like in Billy Joel's song We Didn't Start the Fire which is just a baby-boomer litany of names and... > Read more

Various Artists: Delta Swamp Rock (2011)

Various Artists: Delta Swamp Rock (2011)

Anyone who has traveled extensively in the United States would tell you that the South is different. Certainly Boston, Omaha and Portland are different. But the South is different... > Read more